Patterned Panel + Bending Extension = Cool Candle Holder

Patterned Panel + Bending Extension = Cool Candle Holder

Now that the days are getting shorter, it may be a nice home decorating idea to create a decorative candle holder. Having the powers of SketchUp and computational design methods as well as 3D printing at our fingertips, it does, of course, make sense to create something more interesting than just a boring lampshade. This brief example uses the patterned panel exercise from Chapter 7 to create the basic geometry. Of course you can replace the sinusoidal wave pattern easily now with another beautiful function, or you could even have the cutout pattern generated based on colors in an image, which allows you to make it look like a logo, landscape, etc. Since the resulting shape needed to have the pattern cut into a curved surface, there were basically two approaches: 1) create a curved surface and place the geometry onto it by arranging it radially (and then subtracting it), or 2) creating the panels flat and then curving them. Also, this...
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Using images for scaling and geometry patterns in SketchUp

Using images for scaling and geometry patterns in SketchUp

This post was actually inspired by a question in my Basecamp presentation: Could we use images to create or modify geometry in SketchUp? As it turns out, this is actually quite easy since SketchUp version 2018. This year's version of SketchUp includes a new class in Ruby, the ImageRep. Contrary to the regular Image class (which you can use to work with images as entities in SketchUp), the ImageRep class goes further and allows you to look at images on a pixel by pixel basis. This is basically what we need to be able to read pixel color values and then use those to create or modify geometry. As you can see in the code snippet below, this is reasonably straightforward once one figures out the basic geometric behavior. The code even stretches the image by the (x and y) dimensions of the selected geometry. One part that needed to be resolved was that color information in an image contains red, green, and...
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Beautiful Functions in SketchUp

Beautiful Functions in SketchUp

Scripting geometry (as described in Chapter 7) can make things look very interesting (and quite beautiful) with a rather small amount of actual code. You can see this in the patterned panel example or in the pulled brick post. Both of those examples use a combination of sine and cosine functions to create a "wavy" pattern that nicely undulates shapes and geometry. There are other functions, however, some of which you likely remember from algebra and trigonometry classes. But even without delving too deeply into this, I thought it would be useful to have a reference for some interesting functions that may be of use. The interactive examples shown below use the following grid of 1 inch cubes in SketchUp that were simply scaled vertically according to the lines of code that are included at the bottom of this post. Obviously you can use this approach for other purposes and in other ways, too, but this is a good way to...
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2018 SketchUp 3D Basecamp Recap

2018 SketchUp 3D Basecamp Recap

After SketchUp's 3D Basecamps in Boulder (2012), Vail (2014), and Steamboat Springs (2016), this was my fourth such event, this time in Palm Springs, CA. Aside from the move from CO to CA, this event also hosted a lot more attendees, over 1200 in total, with folks coming from over 30 countries. I really enjoy these 3D Basecamps. Not only because I can talk about topics that are dear to me, e.g. in my presentations this time on Ruby coding, but at which other event can you meet so many amazing people that all share the same passion, then listen to a keynote about making (delivered by the incomparable Grant Imahara of Mythbusters fame), then sit at lunch with an Oscar-winner (by complete coincidence), followed by listening to presentations about design, laser scanning, and drones in construction. And let's not forget that the same day was capped by a party under the Californian sunset with old and new friends from all...
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SketchUp for Design – New and Improved!

SketchUp for Design – New and Improved!

I originally created this site at sketchupfordesign.com as a companion site to my book "Architectural Design with SketchUp". When I did that (in 2012), I came across BuddyPress, an add-on to WordPress that allows for managing an online community, complete with chats, forums, groups, and notification emails. While the idea of creating a community around a book was a good one, spammers, new privacy rules, SSL, and time spent on general maintenance of such an endeavor eventually made me realize that this was a bit too idealistic. Besides, there are many SketchUp forums out there already. As a result, I removed BuddyPress and its functionality completely from this site. This summer I set out on redesigning this site more as a blog where I post news and tutorials related to SketchUp in general and my book in particular. You can still engage in discussions related to book chapters or anything else that's posted on this site. You can also subscribe to...
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